We have become a society dependent on technology, from looking at what our friends are doing on social media to checking the latest news in real-time. We are always connected and are able to obtain information through multiple devices, we cannot escape it. Is technology turning us into workaholics who have blurred the lines of 9-5 as we can now access work related information anywhere, any time of day (VPN access, emails linked up on phones, being messaged by bosses or team members). Does the UK workforce need to switch off from technology or have we in fact found the perfect balance? Here are just two examples of technology feeding into our everyday lives and solutions at work to minimise the cross over between work and personal life.
If your workforce has the facilities to be able to work from home or work remotely, then there may be an increase in job satisfaction as employees are able to be in two places at once. Meaning they can juggle both their personal and professional responsibilities at the touch of a button.
Unfortunately access to work 24/7 can mean accessing work 24/7. If you have some employees who are workaholics, they may feel that they cannot switch off. Whilst technology makes work more accessible, it also creeps into your employees’ personal lives, leading to a negative impact on wellbeing.
Set parameters and implement a time restriction on access to the workplace network for devices used outside the office. This will ensure employees are able to work remotely when required but also be forced to switch off and have time to relax and re-fuel.
Emailing eases the process of communications and collaboration. Information can be shared and processed by employees within a matter of seconds which has allowed workforces to become more efficient and achieve instant gratification amongst employees.
Reading emails for 10 minutes every day equals to 37 hours a year, which is one week of your time. If you are spending half an hour a day doing so , then you’re wasting three weeks of your time.* Some employees may spend too much time responding to and monitoring their emails and inboxes that they could get side-tracked from the actual work they need to be doing.
Introduce a block-out time every day for employees to switch off their emails which will allow them to purely focus on the main tasks they need to get done for the day without worrying about email notifications popping up on their screen. When employees are on holiday, you can create an automated process where emails are archived so they are not visible to the employee.
How long can being switched on last? Perhaps until the battery runs down or in human terms, burnout. You can maintain a tech-savvy organisation whilst also putting employees’ wellbeing and satisfaction on the list of priorities by setting some basic boundaries.